Title

Engaging Youth-At-Risk: Successful Stratigies that are Motivating Students to Learn

First Presenter's Institution

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Ballroom D

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

This research project and presentation will speak directly to the first and second strands, HEAD and HEART, through a presentation of research, including specific strategies, on engagement of students at risk of failure, specifically youth in alternative academic settings and youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Student engagement is a process involving overlapping behavioral, psychological, and cognitive components, and through this process students become motivated consequently increasing academic success. This process is a reciprocal one where the components and factors that lead to engagement also increase engagement when present, meaning that when teachers create a high level engagement they increase motivation. The strategies discussed during the presentation will enhance teachers’ abilities to motivate students while building academic resilience, student empowerment, and boost self-esteem through a caring curriculum with authentic, proven strategies. This line of research and these strategies are designed, not only to engage students, but also to lower the risk of failure and work towards closing the achievement gap while preventing students from dropping out of high school.

Brief Program Description

This interactive presentation will focus on student engagement research and strategies for students at risk of failure. The target audience is teachers, school personnel, community program facilitators, and university faculty from programs of education. The presentation will define student engagement, unpack its importance for all students, and provide teaching strategies specifically targeting students within alternative academic settings and students involved with in the juvenile justice system.

Summary

The process of this qualitative research study was a portraiture which allowed the flexibility to explore and interpret data around a central theme, student engagement, while incorporating the voice of the participants at the forefront of the study (Lykins, 2009; National Research Council, 2002; Popkewitz, 2004). Portraiture explores “participants’ experiences and complexities of how meanings are produced within a particular context” (Gaztambide-Fernandez, et al., 2011). There are five incorporated exploratory components that together create the final portraiture: context, voice, relationship, emergent themes, and the aesthetic whole. Each section serves as a separate medium that is woven together in order to create an end result: a body of work that is accessible, truthful, and generates knowledge.

This presentation of the portraiture works to create an extensive, descriptive counter-narrative that focuses on an education systems for adjudicated youth by uncovering what is working to engage students according to teachers, facility staff, and most importantly the students themselves. This study, while acknowledging that there are struggles, reports the positive aspects of an educational system and serves as a model of desire-based educational research (Tuck, 2009). Study findings are being used to make recommendations that will increase both the student levels of engagement as well as the quality of education within facilities serving juvenile delinquents. At the NYAR Conference these recommendations will be delivered in the form of teaching strategies that the conference participants can take home with them. These strategies will also be used to springboard conversation where participants will have the opportunity to share their own strategies and success stories.

Evidence

A thorough review of literature on youth-at-risk, systems of education for adjudicated youth, the juvenile justice system, the school-to-prison-pipeline, motivation theory and student engagement was initially completed. Based on the findings of this literature review the research study was designed and implemented. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the literature review to build background knowledge and then teaching strategies from the findings of the study.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Helen Avis is both a phd student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a middle grades and high school teacher for the NC Department of Public Safety. She has been teaching English at a Youth Development Center for adjudicated youth for two years serving students ages 10-18. She will complete her doctoral degree in May in School Policy, Leadership, and School Improvement and plans to continue her work improving the educational systems for students within the juvenile justice system. She has been married for close to 14 years and is the mother of three daughters.

Keyword Descriptors

Engagement, Juvenile justice, Strategies, What's working, Qualitative research

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-8-2017 11:15 AM

End Date

3-8-2017 12:30 PM

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Mar 8th, 11:15 AM Mar 8th, 12:30 PM

Engaging Youth-At-Risk: Successful Stratigies that are Motivating Students to Learn

Ballroom D

This interactive presentation will focus on student engagement research and strategies for students at risk of failure. The target audience is teachers, school personnel, community program facilitators, and university faculty from programs of education. The presentation will define student engagement, unpack its importance for all students, and provide teaching strategies specifically targeting students within alternative academic settings and students involved with in the juvenile justice system.